June 02, 2010

Covering Grace

Psalm 32:1-7

Blessed are those … in whose spirit is no deceit.
Psalm 32:2


The first two verses of Psalm 32 tell us about a threefold liberation—transgressions forgiven, sins covered, and sin not counted against us. Praise God, and pass the joy!

But then we find this qualifier: “… in whose spirit is no deceit.” In deceit we misrepresent ourselves; we give a false impression of our goodness. Does God then count our sins against us? I am still forgiven, but there is little joy to pass around!

Deceit is about cover-up, starting with covering up our failures even to ourselves. We may deny our sin, rationalize it, make excuses for it, or compare ourselves to others whom we judge to be worse sinners. And in our deceit we no longer sense God’s grace.

David deceived himself. “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away …. Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped.” Talk about “Where’s the joy?”!

But then David came to his senses: “I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions.’” With deceit confessed, sin is covered by God’s forgiving grace.

When we deceive ourselves, we try to hide our sin. But there is only one true hiding place. “You are my hiding place,” the psalmist says to God. Covered is so much better than covered up.

God of abounding grace, we pray today that you will move us and our sin from our flimsy cover-up to being totally covered by your grace. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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